Po­lice plan for more cam­eras

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Lowri Stafford

Kent Po­lice has re­vealed plans to in­crease the num­ber of sur­veil­lance cam­eras in the county by a third – and Ash­ford is among the places likely to get more.

The force will be in­stalling 34 new au­to­matic num­ber plate recog­ni­tion cam­eras (ANPR) over the next few years.

There are al­ready a to­tal of 103, which po­lice say have helped solved dozens of crimes.

Last year, im­ages from the cam­eras were used as ev­i­dence in 163 court cases, in­clud­ing mur­der, rob­bery, drug sup­ply, money laun­der­ing and hu­man traf­fick­ing tri­als.

Sites for the cam­eras are be­ing con­sid­ered in Ash­ford, Folke­stone, Hythe, Sit­ting­bourne, Faver­sham, Tun­bridge Wells, Ton­bridge, Sevenoaks, Dover, Whit­field, Sand­wich and Whit­stable.

ANPR man­ager Martin Ly­d­don said: “Be­tween April 2014 and March 2015 a to­tal of 314 ar­rests were made as a di­rect re­sult of stops from ANPR data.

“Be­tween Jan­uary 2015 and Oc­to­ber 2015, 216 ve­hi­cles have been seized as hav­ing been used in crime or as hav­ing been unin­sured.

“Around one in ev­ery five ANPR stops in the first 10 months of 2015 re­sulted in an ar­rest as we con­tinue to ef­fec­tively use ANPR to deny crim­i­nals us­ing Kent’s roads.”

He added: “We want to be very trans­par­ent around our use of ANPR in Kent, which is why we are pub­li­cis­ing our plans.

“We know that it can be con­sid­ered by some to be con­tro­ver­sial, but it has proven it­self as a cru­cial tool in both de­tect­ing and de­ter­ring crime.

“We have strin­gent pro­cesses in place to man­age the data th­ese cam­eras col­lect and in­no­cent mem­bers of the pub­lic have noth­ing to be con­cerned about.

“Our plans to in­crease our ANPR cov­er­age across Kent is all part of our on-go­ing com­mit­ment to keep­ing Kent safe and mak­ing it as dif­fi­cult as pos­si­ble for crim­i­nals to op­er­ate in our county.”

Tony For­tune and Gary Owen hand over the cheque to Char­lotte and Glenn Bas­sett-Rogers

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